OBS Case Study - Liz
I had my second baby in April 2020, right in the middle of the Covid pandemic. It was an anxious time to be pregnant, give birth, and have a small one. A lot of pregnancy and postnatal services seemed to be suspended or being conducted over the phone. I was extremely glad that I had a vague idea of what to expect. However, my breastfeeding experience was an utter disaster some two years earlier – a lot of pain, frustration and feelings of failure. I stopped breastfeeding when my baby was just weeks old, and even though it was a relief, I always felt sad about it. I was quite pessimistic about things this time round too – I am an optimist with experience – and I had a big stash of formula for when it was all going to go wrong again.
After having my son in the John Radcliffe, we were quickly discharged home. The midwives at the hospital provided me with contact details of OBS should I have trouble with feeding as this was an area of looking after my baby I was most concerned about. This proved to be justified, as just a day or so into trying to breastfeed I felt the tell-tale pain and had a frustrated jaundiced baby. I thought I had little to lose by contacting OBS.
I was able to book a Zoom 1:1 session with Jayne, one of the facilitators, straight away, and see her when my son was just 3 days old. When you have problems with feeding your newborn, time is of the essence, and waiting even a couple of days would likely have meant that I gave up.
I was able to book a Zoom 1:1 session with Jayne, one of the facilitators, straight away, and see her when my son was just 3 days old. When you have problems with feeding your newborn, time is of the essence, and waiting even a couple of days would likely have meant that I gave up. I was amazed that this appointment was possible, as even private lactation consultants had very restricted availability.
Jayne was able to put me at ease, talk me through everything we were doing and gave me very useful tips and advice on improving latch. She was incredibly encouraging of continuing to breastfeed, pointing out the many benefits such as protection from infections and not needing to rely on formula supplies – all very useful in a pandemic. At the same time, I felt no judgement should I wished to stop. Her advice enabled me to have confidence to continue to breastfeed. To my delight, the baby’s latch improved, the pain abated and he was able to feed well and gain weight. He is now quite a chunky monkey!
The fact that OBS was able to offer face to face virtual sessions during such a time was amazing and made me feel incredibly supported.